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Collaborative learning tasks and the elaboration of conceptual knowledge

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Learning and Instruction Volume 10, Number 4 ISSN 0959-4752 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


In this article we present the results of an experimental study of the influence of task characteristics on the characteristics of elaboration of conceptual knowledge in social interaction. With a pre-test and post-test we measured individual learning outcomes. We constructed a coding scheme that focuses on the communicative functions and propositional content of utterances and on elaborative episodes. The subjects were 40 students who worked in dyads on a collaborative task about electricity in one of four conditions. We compared a concept mapping task with a poster task and investigated the effect of a phase of individual preparation. The post-test scores were significantly higher than the pre-test scores. Individual preparation created better learning results and the asking of more questions. The concept mapping conditions showed more discussion of electricity concepts, collaboratively elaborated conflicts and reasoning, but no higher individual learning outcomes. In the concept mapping conditions, elaboration was related to individual learning outcomes.


van Boxtel, C., van der Linden, J. & Kanselaar, G. Collaborative learning tasks and the elaboration of conceptual knowledge. Learning and Instruction, 10(4), 311-330. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved January 18, 2020 from .

This record was imported from Learning and Instruction on January 29, 2019. Learning and Instruction is a publication of Elsevier.

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